The BBMP is clearing up invasive plants from all the flyovers in Mahadevapura and KR Puram. Residents, meanwhile, suspect bird droppings could be one of the reasons for excessive plant growth on the concrete structures.
The drive is on as there has been an intensive growth of plants of late, especially small shrubs, in expansion joints and weep holes of the flyovers in the area.
The citizen activists of Mahadevapura had identified the issue and had complained to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) four years ago.
At the time, the Palike officials were confused as to which department should take up the responsibility for invasive plants as the residents complained the civic body was passing the buck.
Finally, on BBMP chief engineer G Parameshwariah's instructions the work commenced a few days ago in Mahadevapura and KR Puram.
“The work was supposed to be done seven years ago, but it stretched until now. We have checked the plant overgrowth in Marathahalli and Narayanapura flyovers so far. There are about 14 flyovers in Mahadevapura alone. We will complete the work in a couple of weeks,” said Parameshwariah.
“We have applied anti-growth agents in affected areas so that the plants do not sprout again. The plants exert pressure on the concrete structures and destabilise them over time. Hence it is always good to remove them,” the chief engineer said.
According to him, removing the plants from flyovers requires a lot of effort. “We need long ladders that reach every nook and cranny of the concrete structures. Also, doing the work during day time causes traffic jam. Hence, the work is done meticulously during night,” he added.
“This was a long pending issue and many residents have attempted to address this for over four years. Various BBMP departments washed their hands off saying it is not their responsibility. Now that it is done, we need a BBMP department to be accountable and periodic maintenance should be in place,” said Clement Jayakumar, a resident of Doddanekundi.
“These plants, especially the peepal or the ficus, can cause structural damage. This is such a necessary exercise and should be done periodically. Many a time in the past, some of us counted 20-odd such saplings on KR Puram cable bridge and Marathahalli rail bridge and informed the authorities,” added another resident.